Breaking Up because of Weight Issues

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I have been in a long term relationship since '99. It began as a friendship and would have likely remained that way had she not pressed for intimacy. I was a virgin at the time and as most red blooded men would react I went with the flow when seduced. Obviously, it takes two to tango in that situation so I know it's not completely her fault our relationship changed I let it happen. At the time we were both XXL sized people who grew into XXXL sized people. 15 months ago on the way back from a Labor Day vacation we had a go to Jesus talk. Marriage talk was being tossed about regularly around that time. I made the decision that I could not commit to a marriage in the shape that I was 305lbs and generally unhealthy. I decided that it was time for me to make a life change if I intended to live a long life. I told my GF that I wanted her to come along with me and become more active and get in better shape so that we could possibly enter an engagement prepared for a healthy future. I made it clear at the time that I didn't see a future for us if WE weren't in better shape.

Fast forward 15 months

I have lost 60lbs and am gradually getting in the shape that I want to be in. The GF on the other hand seems to have perfected the artful dodge in this area. Saying she wants to exercise and get healthy but not doing it. Putting money down on a treadmill only to leave it there for nearly 6 months and then pulling it out for a SECOND trip to London. Telling me she has changed her eating habits but when we're out to eat it's obviously not so. She wonders why our sex life is not very active. Shouldn't be hard to understand why for your readers. I don't think I was ever sexually attracted to her. You work with what you've got though right? Now that your probably asking what did you do to help her let me say that if you've ever been in the sorry state of health I was you know it's so terribly hard to be your own motivator much less the motivator for someone else. So, I will say that the only motivation that I could provide was leading by example. I had hoped that when she saw me being more active and losing lbs that she would want to follow. I had to make getting healthy THE priority in my life. It seems as if she can't or doesn't want to make it a priority in her life. I feel like we've grown apart at this point and I want to exit the relationship ASAP. Problem is birthday is this weekend and with Christmas and New Years right around the corner I don't know how or when to break up with her without completely crushing her. I do love her as a close friend would, i.e. my response to her "I love you" is love ya not "I love you", but am not in love with her and don't think I ever really was. Perhaps lust but not love. I feel guilty but I also feel like I donít owe her anymore of my time. I have given her a chance to make a change. I didnít ask her to become skinny overnight or skinny period I did however want to see some sort of a change and I havenít. I canít see us married if she doesnít make exercise and health a part of her life because I would inevitably fall back into a rut and end up XXXL sized again which I canít do. I care enough for her to be willing to give her until March to make a change but how do I re-visit the issue during this time of year without actually ending up breaking up? I was thinking about breaking it off after the birthday dinner this weekend but I donít know if that would be to damaging. Please help me with my timing I would like to remain friends with this woman we do have a lot in common. Thanks Advice
Well first, many people who are 300 pounds do get married and lead quite happy lives. But I do understand your health and activity concerns. If you are a person who is now wanting to do things and be active, and to follow a healthy lifestyle, you want to be with someone who does those things as well. It's like anything else in life - if you were an avid skiier and loved to smoke, your first choice wouldn't be someone that hated skiing with a passion and was asthmatic.

It's something you have to think about. No two people are ever perfectly matched, and having a true friend that you can love and trust is relatively hard to find. So maybe the fact that she's still heavy goes into the 'wish was different' column, but maybe there are lots of things in the 'good' column. It's a bit unfair to say mid-relationship, "you have to change". And it's not unexpected that she didn't. Some people are just meant to be a certain shape and don't have the incentive or desire to exercise or change. It's like asking a couch potato to start doing laps every morning, or a sleep-in person to always wake up at 5am. Some things are really part of a person's nature.

But OK, accepting all of that, you are now at a point in your life where you are active, eating healthy, and you'd like a partner who supported you in these things, could do things with you, etc. And let's say the things in her 'good' column just aren't strong enough. Yes, this is a rough time to do a breakup. If you've already waited this long, I'd wait until after the new year and treasure this time with her. But really, if you can't accept her the way she is, I wouldn't try to pressure her to "change by X date". Love and relationships are about accepting someone the way they are, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Love is NOT about telling someone "you are bad the way you are, I can only love you if you're different." That's just not right. The fact that you're thinking that really means the love isn't there, because if it was, you would accept her.

So be honest, and sit down with her in a quiet spot (read all my breakup tips on the site). Explain that with what you want out of life, she's just not the person you need with you as a *partner* tho you still care for her deeply as a friend and confidant. Let her talk or be upset or whatever she's going to be, and be supportive. Somewhere out there is someone who will treasure what she is, right now, and love her. But it appears that can't be you. She's better off finding someone who WILL love her for what she is instead of staying with someone who is going to be unhappy with her the way she is and constantly trying to get her to change into what he wants.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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